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Letters: Does LI need apartments?

Community members in favor of a development offering

Community members in favor of a development offering affordable rental options attend a public meeting at Huntington's Town Hall. (Dec. 10, 2013) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

I woke up from my post-Christmas Day slumber filled with a great feeling of peace and happiness, and read Newsday ["Filing a petition," Dec. 26]. Instead of finding peace and tranquillity, I read that some of our residents are complaining about three separate proposals: for an assisted living facility, over-55 apartments and loft-style apartments in Huntington, East Hampton and Islip.

Where are our senior citizens, older residents and young people supposed to live? Is not a diversity in housing options and people a strength in the character of a community?

Long Island must continue to allow our young and old to live here, and we must all work together to accomplish this goal, especially when the continued strength of our communities depends on it. I hope that our elected officials in all three towns do not pander to unfortunate and unproven opposition, and will ensure that diversity in all of its forms will be allowed to succeed in our communities.

Mitchell H. Pally, Stony Brook

Editor's note: The writer is chief executive of the Long Island Builders Institute, a trade organization.

Affordable housing on Long Island is, and always will be, a hot-button issue ["Rental housing sorely needed," Editorial, Dec. 30]. The Town of Huntington's views on the subject are reflective of those in most areas across the Island. This is why the patchwork municipality-by-municipality approach to land use has to end.

We need to quantify our existing affordable-housing stock and look toward realistic solutions that do not rely solely on substantial increases in density, but balance our economic, environmental and social well-being.

We need a plan to tackle this monumental problem based on sound urban planning and up-to-date data. Our housing needs are one important piece of a larger puzzle.

The issue is regional in scope, and the solution must follow suit.

Rich Murdocco, Syosset

Editor's note: The writer operates a website,, about land use.

Your editorial illustrates a misplaced sense of egalitarianism and the requirement for social engineering to achieve a goal. The real issue underlying the Huntington Town Board's correct opposition to the rental housing in Melville is, in fact, opposition to requiring what is essentially low-income housing in a town where the median income is far greater than that of the potential renters. Sugarcoating the fact that it is for low-income people by calling it "affordable" only diverts attention.

The type of housing should be dictated by the market. Newsday, along with proponents of this project, advocate artificial social engineering of a community and essentially the elimination of market forces from housing decisions. If rental housing is needed in Huntington, the rents should reflect people's incomes. Huntington is under no obligation, either social or moral, to engineer its population to meet some arbitrary egalitarian goal.

Alan R. Lichtenstein, Commack